Culture of reading dwindle in Balkh, says activists, youth

MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): A number of youth and civil society activists say that poverty, migration and some other restrictions have dwindled the culture of reading books in northern Balkh province.
Seema, a resident of Balkh province, told Pajhwok Afghan News that culture of reading books declined among youth, especially girls, in Balkh compared to the past.
She said restrictions on girls’ education also negatively affected the culture of reading.
Mah Jabin, another inhabitant of Mazar-i-Sharif, said the culture of reading books weaken in the province compared to the past and poverty was the main reason behind it. Nasibullah Hameedi, said that most of the educated youth left the country and the rest were struggling to earn a living and had no time for reading.
He urged the civil societies and writers to keep alive the culture of reading through contests.
Saleh Mohammad Khaliq, former director of information and culture, said the culture of reading was not that good in the past, but currently it declined because of poverty.
Zabihullah Ariayee, an official of the information and culture, said about 30 public libraries existed in the province and young people could go and study.
He said efforts were underway to keep the culture of reading books alive among people in the province.